Thursday, October 27, 2011
Green Capitalists hijack Carbon Agenda!
Gary Johns a former Labor minister delivers a withering attack on the green carpetbaggers and green capitalists who are ripping off society in the name of environmentalism. The green lobby wants more funds from our capitalist society while at the same time attacking energy production - the very means of generating that capital.
The combination of corporate rent-seeking and capitulation makes the world more vulnerable to mishap. No wonder the gormless ferals "Occupying" city squares across the Western world are confused.
Green capitalism wants public corporations to behave not as shareholders and taxpayers wish but as green activists wish. Green activists and corporate people cosy up to regulators and governments, but especially the UN.
Corporations accept the activity as strategic, coping with political pressure for the nebulous desire for sustainability. Some corporations acquiesce, some make money.
There are crooks such as Enron and jokers such as BP (remember Beyond Petroleum?) who play the game. Others just attend conferences. But attending lends weight to stupidity and rent-seeking on a global scale.
These conferences become places where politicians grandstand. Remember Kevin at Copenhagen? A few days ago in Washington, DC, a group of chief executives, "major investors and bankers", together with former British prime minister Gordon Brown and former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, called for a "far-reaching reform of the global financial system". The price of applause is taxpayer subsidies and preferential regulation.
These people helped the US and Europe live beyond their means. Now, under the banner of the UN Environment Program Finance Initiative Global Roundtable they want to direct good money into bad investments under the guise of sustainability.
This is the crowd that brought the massive waste of debt forgiveness, Make Poverty History and the Clean Development Mechanism. Brown has suggested a global tax to raise even more money for aid and the environment. Tell that to the Greeks and the Irish.
This is the crowd plotting the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (or Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro where even more promises will be made with money that does not exist. They want to "mobilise investment at scale by the banking and investment sectors into the clean energy sector, renewable energy, green buildings and retrofitting, clean vehicles and fuels". You will pay for this.
The farce is that even on its own terms, the combination of green activists, corporate capitulation and UN mischief-making moves the world further from the possibility of coping with issues such as climate change and poverty.
Take the example of nuclear power. Siemens built all of Germany's 17 nuclear reactors. In 2006 Siemens' president and chief executive Peter Loescher said: "In view of global climate change and the increasing power demand worldwide, for us nuclear energy remains an essential part of a sustainable energy mix. Nuclear energy, which is practically CO2-free, will gain in importance above all with a view to climate protection."
In September this year Loescher announced Siemens' withdrawal from the nuclear industry. The firm will no longer build nuclear power stations.
Although the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March pushed it across the line, it was the constant drip of ideology that broke the company's resolve. As Loescher said, it was the firm's answer to "the clear positioning of German society and politics for a pullout from nuclear energy".
Siemens' 17 nuclear reactors accounted for 23 per cent of German electricity production. A lot of solar panels and windmills are going to be built with taxpayers' subsidy to fill that gaping hole. Should the windmills come at the expense of the Greece bailout?
And our little green capitalists' tentacles reach from global to local. A recent press release screamed: "World's largest investors, worth $20 trillion, step up call for urgent policy action on climate change".' It was our friends at the UNEP Finance Initiative, in tandem with the likes of the local Investor Group on Climate Change.
IGCC is a green-capitalist crowd. It represents finance, including church and industry super funds. Being from finance, they seek rent rather than capitulate a la Siemens. IGCC wants to "encourage government policies and investment practices that address the risks and opportunities of climate change, for the ultimate benefit of superannuants and unit holders". You bet they do.
The Australian chief executive is Nathan Fabian, former adviser to Penny Wong in the opposition portfolio of corporate governance and responsibility. Fabian by name, Fabian by nature.
Are the Fabians telling investors that the Senate estimates statement by Treasury's Martin Parkinson on October 20, that "the cost impact of the carbon tax is very, very small", was based on an assumption there would be a global agreement on reductions of CO2 emissions?
Julia Gillard cannot achieve what the great Kevin Rudd could not. An agreement by developing countries attending the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban next month to curb emissions will not be forthcoming.